Yonkers, NY —The automotive testers at Consumer Reports magazine have awarded the 2012 Honda CR-V a narrow victory over the all-new Mazda CX-5 in a comparison of the two small crossover vehicles.
The Honda earned 77 points in the overall road tests of the two vehicles, while the Mazda was awarded 75 points. That put them right behind the Consumer Reports leaders, the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester.
Although the two vehicles appear to be similar — both have the availability of front- or all-wheel drive, room for up to 5 passengers and nearly equal pricing — that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“While their overall scores were closes, said David Champion, senior director of the Consumer Reports auto test center, “these two small SUVs have very distinct characteristics that will appeal to different types of drivers.”
The testers lauded the CRV-EX ($26,455 as tested) for its roomy back seat, easy access, lots of cargo space and a comfortable ride. They found the Honda to have a refined drivetrain and to be quicker than the Mazda.
They faulted it for road noise, blind spots and “subpar” handling at the limits and agreed that it was functional and easy to live, but not particularly exciting to drive.
The Mazda CX-5 Touring ($27,125 as tested) was found to more athletic and more attractive to enthusiasts, with agile handling and responsive steering. They noted the overall fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon is best in class.
On the other hand, the testers noted that the cabin is smaller and noisier, highway ride is not as smooth and acceleration is slower.
The CR-V is recommended by Consumer Reports, but the CX-5 is not because it is too new for the magazine to gauge its overall reliability or its performance in crash tests.
A full report on the comparison test is available at www.ConsumerReports.org and will appear in the June issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which will be on newsstands May 8.